Understanding Australian Parents’ Attitudes About their Children’s Travel Behaviour: Results from the CATCH and iMATCH projects
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Parents are important decision makers about children's activities. It is critical to identify their attitudes and how they differ across neighbourhoods, and for what reasons parents grant 'licences' to their children for independent mobility and active travel. Past research on parental attitudes has produced a range of findings, possibly relating to the different approaches used, but highlighting the role of social environments in influencing parental attitudes and decisions. There have been few comprehensive studies on parental attitudes and perceptions about children's independent mobility, though work has advanced more so in Australia than many countries. There remain research gaps about the relative importance of key factors (e.g. 'stranger' danger and road traffic danger) in parental decisions. The paper explores on data from 232 questionnaire surveys completed by parents and guardians of 10-13 year olds who were recruited from primary schools in six neighbourhoods in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane/Ipswich. Three of the schools had been part of recent travel behaviour change programs, three had not. Analysis of key elements of parents' decision making about their children's independent and active travel is provided, highlighting differences between the two groups. The paper concludes with recommendations for policy initiatives to increase parental support for children's active travel.
State of Australian Cities Conference
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